China is angry over the participation of Japan’s Izumo helicopter destroyer! This is Japan’s largest warship – and it is part of the ongoing Malabar exercise between India-US-Japan in the Bay of Bengal. But, the fact that Japan has sent its largest warship to participate in the trilateral exercise is not the only reason that China has irked. We take a look at some interesting facts about the Izumo helicopter destroyer, and why China is unhappy with it.
The Izumo helicopter carrier (officially called the helicopter destroyer by Japan) is the same warship that Japan sent on a tour to the South China Sea! China claims most of the disputed waters of South China Sea and has built several islands there. While Japan does not have any claim to the waters, its maritime dispute with China in the East China Sea, has led it to showcase its naval force in the South China Sea.
The helicopter destroyer is 249 meter-long (816.93 ft). It is reportedly as large as Japan’s World War Two-era carriers. The Izumo-class carriers can operate up to 9 helicopters.
Izumo helicopter destroyer is like the amphibious assault carriers that are used by US Marines. The difference is that it lacks their well deck that is used for launching landing craft and other vessels.
The main mission of the Izumo is anti-submarine warfare. That’s one reason why it is part of this year’s Malabar exercise.
The Izumo has been officially called a destroyer because in Japan the constitution forbids the acquisition of offensive weapons. The warship still allows Japan to project military power well beyond its territory.
The Izumo destroyer is based in Yokosuka, near to Tokyo. That’s also home to the US Seventh Fleet’s carrier, the Ronald Reagan.
The Izumo helicopter destroyer was commissioned in 2015. In March 2017, Japan commissioned the second Izumo-class helicopter destroyer – the Kaga.
By: Financial Express
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